The Great Crate Swap

Cochise, on crate swapping
Cochise tells the tale

The weatherguessers were saying it was going to get cold. Too cold for Spencer to be outside: he needed to come inside with the rest of us for the night.  That is not a problem, but it does mean some rearranging needs to be done.  Spencer is a big boy and needs appropriate accommodations.

Retriever brand crates
Large and Medium crates

We have three Retriever brand transport boxes that we use as crates. There are several reasons for that.

The Pibble House-guest

Vega is a Pibble. A Pibble that was rescued from the local shelter. A rescued Pibble that was sent to a foster home to be loved and cared for until the Rescue can find him a Forever Home.

Unfortunately, Vega chose not to remain in his kennel at his foster home. He decided to go have himself a walk-about. That was not in his care plan!

So Vega came to stay with us just until his pen could be repaired and reinforced to prevent future walk-abouts.

His first evening here, he stayed outdoors in his pen. He didn’t want to stay in his pen, he wanted to go on a walk-about and he tried to make a hole to fulfill that desire. HairyFace caught him, patched the damage and said, “Do not do that. Bad boy.”

Vega watched intently as Hairy undid what Vega had done. He made no attempt to interfere, just watched and emitted a soft, low growl. Not aggression, just telling Hairy that he did not appreciate the intervention.

But he has since stayed in his kennel.  Mostly.

Cochise’s Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Rotten Day

Cochise, on DST
Cochise tells the tale

Blondie strolled in and looked over my shoulder as I pecked out the title of my story on the keyboard. “Are you sure you want to call it that?”


“I mean, it wasn’t even the whole day: just a couple of hours.”

“It’s my story, and I like the title. I think it’s catchy. I think my readers will like it too. So, how about you go chew a hoofie or something.”

“Hmph!” Blondie wheeled around and sauntered out the door, headed for the picture-box watching room and the basket of toys and chewies.

Actually, she does have a point: my ordeal did not last all day, and it ended well. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Now, where to start?

It was an average Friday…


Cochise tells the tale

My posse and I welcomed a new foster dog Thursday, Nov. 3rd: Fido Steele.

FidoHe’s got the feet of an Australian Shepherd, the head of a Terrier, the body of a hound and the curly tail of a husky (except with short fur), the voice of a Beagle, the mannerisms of a greyhound, and the temperament of a sweet dog. He’s an active fellow. And conversational. We had a pretty rough night the first night trying to get him to HUSH! But that’s not unusual for a new dog: this is all new and different to him. He was doing much better by the morning of the second day than he had the previous afternoon.

At this point we know nothing about his history except that he was in the care of another foster family who do not have the room he needs to run. They thought he’d do better here.

For some reason, the Peoples always think that as soon as they let a dog who has been confined for too long loose into the big play yard, they will go nuts and run and jump in jubilation. They almost never do. Fido was no different. His first session in the yard was spent (as is usual) entirely on wandering around sniffing everything. And with four other dogs in residence, there is plenty to sniff! Then came introductions.

Blondie Goes On Stake-out

Blondie is a good watch dog: she’s always watching. I am Guardian of the Realm, it is my job, when a threat arises, to go out and bark at it with my deep, rumbly, scary voice so it goes away. I chase away raccoon, possum, bunny rabbits, cats, school bus monsters, noisy trucks, and delivery service vans. I keep everyone safe. But that is a lot of responsibility, so I delegate most of the watch-dogging to Blondie Bear.

Cochise attending to important business.
Cochise attending to important business.

A lot of times I do hear or smell an approaching threat and go to work. But if I am otherwise occupied (ahem) Blondie will alert me and I’ll spring into action.

Blondie really likes watching. She has honed that skill to an art…

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Blondie’s Concern for Fido

Cochise, on DST
Cochise tells the tale

Before I begin, let me remind you that Blondie Bear is scared of gunfire and thunder. When she hears these she bolts to HairyFace’s side and insists on being petted until the scariness passes.

It had been an unsettling morning. Millie went for a truck ride with HairyFace. Almost surprisingly she came back. Usually when we get that “someone is leaving” vibe, whoever goes for a ride does not come back.

When they returned from wherever they went Millie was outside for a while, then came in to her room (crate) and the rest of us took turns going out. As usual, Blondie, Tinker and I all went out as a group. We’re all best buds. Blondie often goes outside with Millie or with Fido. Sometimes they play, sometimes she tells them to back off. If they do (Millie is doing better with that) all is well. If not, Hairy steps in to back them off. Hairy is Blondie’s hero/protector.

When we came in, Hairy took Fido out. A lot of times, when it’s chilly, Fido will race out in the yard, run a couple of loops, stop to do his business, then race back to the door saying, “Let me back in where it’s warm!” But this morning, Fido chose to wander around and sniff stuff. So after a while Hairy left him to amuse himself and came back inside.

Late Night, Lazy Dogs

Cochise, on DST
Cochise tells the tale

We are all lazy this morning. All us dogs are anyway. The peoples are up and about their usual tasks.

They did not stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching election results like some Peoples did, but their regular bed time of 10:00 still feels like 11:00 because of that Daylight Silly Time thing. And because Tinker decided he needed to go out to pee at 2:30 AM.

Normally Tinker tap dances in the hallway until Hairy hears him and gets up. That wasn’t working this morning so he took a page from my book, came into the bedroom to look around the corner and softly said, “Rowr, rar, rar, rar.”

Fido and DST (Daylight Screwy Time)

Cochise, on DST
Cochise tells the tale

This past weekend the Peoples did something strange. They call it DST and messed up all their time-things so that all dogs everywhere (except Arizona and Hawaii, apparently) are deprived of their meals for an extra hour. That is SO unfair. What did we do to deserve that? My Peoples say it’s not their idea: the government makes them do it. Peoples don’t like it either. So I say if everyone hates it … just don’t do it. They’re not the boss of you.

Oh … they ARE the boss of you? I’m sorry, I thought I read that this was a government OF the Peoples, FOR the Peoples, and BY the Peoples. I guess I was wrong.

Well anyway Fido was especially unhappy about having to wait so long for breakfast and was being vocal about it. It does take a little time to learn why you cannot eat right now when your kibbles are sitting RIGHT THERE on the counter. He said, “Just give them to me!”

The rest of us understand that we have to wait for the Peoples to finish cooking their food (which sometimes takes forever) so we can all eat at the same time. NiceLady finally relented and gave him his bowl. That made him happy: he ate his breakfast and laid down in his crate.

Normally, when that is done, that dog will get fussy again when everyone else gets their dishes and is eating and he is not eating. But not Fido! Surprisingly he sat and watched and was good about it. He did whine, very softly and just a little, but did not bark, or howl, or kick his dish around the crate in protest.

Tinker left a bit of his breakfast; he almost always does, so HairyFace gave that to Fido as a reward for being so good.

After breakfast we all went outside. We do that in stages. Usually Blondie, Tinker and I (a.k.a The Big Dogs) go out together and come back together. We all get along great. Then Millie or Fido goes out alone, then the other goes out alone. Millie can go out with Blondie because they have an understanding. And because Blondie likes to be on hand in case the foster dog goes berserk and Hairy needs saving. Hey … it could happen.

This morning she also insisted on going out with Fido and Hairy.

Yesterday Hairy had Fido on a leash while Blondie was out with them. Blondie began zipping around through the garden boxes in what we call her Maze Game, and inviting Fido to come play the game too. Fido wanted to, but Hairy did not release Fido to go play so Blondie came out in the open to Fido and they played a little bit. As much as Fido could while on a leash. He wanted to run and would try to bolt off so Blondie would chase him. They seemed to get along fine and Hairy made note to let them try a play time together.

fido-blondie-playing-161107aHe did that this morning, because he had promised and because Blondie insisted. They did well: no hostility, no pressing too hard. So no red flags were thrown and they had fun until it was time for Fido to go to his pen so Hairy could get on with the rest of the morning’s chores. Hairy did promise them both a longer play time later.

Of course, with this Daylight Screwy Time (DST) thing going on, “later” means more later than it normally would … but it is what it is, so they’ll just have to be patient.

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Triple Dog Truck’n and Saturday Chores

Cochise tells the tale

It’s a beautiful fall Saturday and we are all enjoying being outside in it as much as we can.

This morning HairyFace loaded the trash and recycling bins into the truck and Blondie and I got excited because we know this means TRUCK RIDE!

cochise_truck-ride-151212Hairy helped me put my harness on, walked me out and belted me into the shot-gun seat. I always get shot-gun on trash days: that’s a rule. Blondie doesn’t mind: she prefers the space behind the seats because she can move around and stick her nose out either window.

As he was walking Blondie out to the truck, Tinker was standing off to the side, looking sad.

“What’s the matter Tinker?” asked Blondie.

Mr. Tinker Goes to Town

Cochise tells the tale

It was a sunny Saturday morning and there was extra excitement in the air. Saturdays are always fun because we get a fancy breakfast then HairyFace, Blondie Bear, and I go on a truck ride. But this morning it was a little different.

The evening before, HairyFace and NiceLady made us go out in the yard while they filled little bags with doggie treats to take to a craft fair that the Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue folks were hosting as a fund raiser.

This morning Hairy was loading the truck, but instead of the trash cans he was putting in folding chairs, the treats they made up last night, a metal bowl, a big bottle of water and some things I didn’t know what they were.

Blonde Dogs in Bandanas

NiceLady brushed Tinker and ironed a red bandana and put it on him, saying, “You need to look extra spiffy today.”

Blondie was jealous, so Lady put one on her as well. That made her happy.

After breakfast Blondie and I got all excited because we were ready to go ride in the truck, but Hairy said, “Not yet, Cochise. We’ll do that later: when we get back from town.”